Churches look for guidance in children, youth ministry and smaller groups

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- As grateful as Christians are to return to in-person worship services, many are curious about the next steps for church ministry. Now that the summer season is underway, many church leaders want to know how or if they can plan for children or youth activities in the coming weeks.

“In many church ministries, children and students have grown weary of their ministry programs occurring online. In addition to their church, their education and all other activities have also moved online creating fatigue with screen communication,” said Matt Flanagan, KBC children and student ministry consultant.

Sunday School and small group Bible study is another area of concern for many Kentucky Baptist churches, “especially for the most social among us, online meetings are just not enough,” adds Darryl Wilson, KBC Sunday School and discipleship consultant.

Flanagan and Wilson are creating a guideline resource to help churches understand Gov. Andy Beshear’s Healthy at Work plan and how it affects these groups in the local church.

“Places of worship should wait to reopen youth services (including, but not limited to, Sunday schools) until childcare services have reopened on June 15, 2020. Once they reopen, youth services should follow the requirements posted for childcare services” is what is given for guidance in the administration’s plan. The childcare center guidelines can be found here.

Wilson says they are working to produce a document that is simple to understand and “will help people respond to the guidelines coming out of the governor’s office as they apply to Sunday School and small group Bible study.”

“It will be important and wise to phase in different ministry programs over the upcoming weeks and months. Be thoughtful to learn from each step to safely implement each essential program,” Flanagan said. He believes it could take up to three months before churches are able to function in a way that resembles pre-coronavirus activity.

They plan to have a church-focused guideline available on June 4 through the KBC’s website.

Wilson is hosting the Re-Entering Sunday School webinar on Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 pm EDT. The event is free, but registration through the KBC website is required.

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